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Full text of "Poland Russia and Great Britain 1941-1945"

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representatives in Allied and neutral countries, and therefore that Govern-
ment might have found itself isolated from the world. Even if govern-
mental authority had been entrusted to one of the Polish Ambassadors,
or to some collective body abroad, it would have failed to carry the
weight which the Polish cause required in the international sphere, and
undoubtedly the Germans and Russians would then have found it an
easy matter to throw doubts on the authenticity of the instructions,
declarations and political bona-fides of this type of official representation
belonging to a secret and anonymous National Government in Poland.
Furthermore, if such a Government had been organised within the
country, there would have been a danger of interruptions in the continuity
of the state and constitutional authority. Who would have appointed a
new Government in the event of the existing one being discovered and
liquidated by the enemy ? There would always have been the danger
of uncertainty, chaos, and even political abuse.
By the application of the accepted principle that the State is in the
Underground, while the Government of that State is functioning abroad,
advantages which would be impossible under any other arrangement were
gained by the Poles. The country was assured of the continuity of the
State. No matter what happened, nor what ruthless methods the
occupying Powers might use, the Underground could not be completely
crushed. The imprisonment, torture and death of two Plenipotentiaries
of the Polish Government, and imprisonment of two Commanders-in-
Chief of the Home Army, which the enemy was able to accomplish up
to 1944, did not indeed interrupt its functioning.
Generally speaking, one could divide the Polish Underground into two
fundamental parts : the official Polish State Authorities, departments and
institutions, and the movement which represented the * underground
public opinion.'
The first official section of the Polish Underground consisted of the
Home Army and three organised branches. The first was headed by
the Plenipotentiary of the Government (Delegat Krajowy) and Deputy
,Prime Minister in the Cabinet, whose first task was to organise the
'secret administration and to maintain it at a level of efficiency, never
meanwhile permitting the population to forget that the genuine
national authorities were constantly behind them. Furthermore,
and what was even more important, the instant the invader's army
and civil authorities had either voluntarily or forcibly left Poland, tins
Polish administration would immediately appear, to take over the State
property from the hands of the occupants. The already appointed civil
servants would immediately be installed in every office and within the
hour the country would in principle be functioning normally. Thus the
period from the return of the Government and the settlement of the first
essential questions would be a period of internal law and order*